Canadian stocks gained momentum Thursday as commodity companies and techs lifted the market amid reports of rising home prices and a widening trade deficit.
The S&P/TSX Composite index grew 77.09 points to finish at 11,858.13
The Canadian dollar moved higher 0.26 cents to 100.83 cents U.S.
BlackBerry maker Research In Motion Ltd. rallied 2.1% to $7.72 and shares of Davis+Henderson Corp., a provider of financial technologies, added 2.7% to $18.60.
Top advancing commodity companies included Class B shares of Teck Resources up 3% to $29.47, Caledonia Mining Corp., hiked 20% to nine cents; Canadian Natural Resources gained 6.2% to $31.39 and Yamana Gold, picked up 1.9% to $15.16
Shares of coffee and restaurant chain Tim Hortons Inc. lost 2.8% to $50.84, despite posting a 13.1% higher second-quarter profit and meeting analyst forecasts.
Class B shares of Bombardier Inc. retreated 2.4% to $3.67, after the plane manufacturer reported a 14% lower second-quarter profit, while class A shares of Canadian Tire Corp. rose 5% on strong earnings.
On the economic ledger, Statistics Canada reported this morning that this country's merchandise imports rose 2.3% while exports improved 0.2% in June. So, Canada's trade deficit with the world nearly doubled in June to $1.8 billion, from $954 million in May.
The agency also said that its new housing price index continued on the march, adding 0.2% in June, after a rise of 0.3% the month before.
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation reported housing starts slowed in July. The seasonally-adjusted annualized rate of housing starts was 208,500 units in July, down from 222,100 units in June.
The TSX Venture Exchange rocketed up 7.37 points to 1,193.05. The Nasdaq Canada index added 3.13 points to 350.64.
All but three of the 14 Toronto subgroups were up. Energy stocks soared 1.8%, while materials streaked ahead 1.1% and gold grew 1%.
The three laggards were real-estate, which faded 0.5%, while health-care stock were off 0.4%, while industrials settled 0.03%.
U.S. stocks turned mixed amid choppy trading Thursday as investors digested a handful of economic reports, including the latest data on unemployment claims and reports on the Chinese economy.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 10.45 points short of breakeven to finish at 13,165.20
The S&P 500 eked out a gain of 0.57 points to 1,402.79. The Nasdaq added 7.39 points to 3,018.64
Wendy's reported a $5.5-million U.S. loss for the second quarter, but the fast food chain's stock moved higher as sales at restaurants open at least 15 months rose 3.2% during the quarter.
Kohl's posted second-quarter results that beat estimates, but sales were weaker than expected, sending shares lower. The retailer cut its forecast for the quarter and said it expects same-stores sales growth during the quarter to be flat to 2%.
Shares of Monster Beverage dropped after the energy-drink company delivered lower-than-expected earnings and revenue figures.
High-end retailer Nordstrom was scheduled to report after the closing bell.
Cisco shares rose after Piper Jaffray analyst Troy Jensen raised his rating on the stock to Overweight from Neutral, and boosted his price target to $22 from $20 U.S. Cisco is slated to report fourth-quarter results next week.
Shares of A123 Systems gained after the battery maker said that Chinese auto parts maker Wanxiang Group is going to invest $450 million U.S. in the company, a step that that CEO David Vieau said helps "remove the uncertainty regarding A123's financial situation."
Investors sifted through a batch of U.S. economic reports, including a better-than-expected drop in initial jobless claims and a narrowed trade deficit.
A duo of economic reports out of China was also in focus. Industrial production in the world's second-largest economy slowed for a third straight month in July. However, inflation in China eased to the slowest rate in two-and-a-half years.
The data fueled hopes that China's central bank might intervene with more stimulus measures to boost economic growth.
Economically speaking, the number of first-time U.S. unemployment claims fell 6,000 to 361,000 last week, the government said. Analysts were expecting 375,000 claims during the week.
The U.S. trade deficit narrowed to $42.9 billion U.S. in June, from $48 billion U.S. the prior month. Analysts were expecting the deficit to stand at $47.5 billion U.S.
Wholesale inventories unexpectedly declined 0.2% in June. Economists were looking for a 0.3% increase.
The price on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury lost ground, pushing the yield up to 1.69% from 1.64% late Wednesday. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.
Oil for September delivery gained in price 16 cents to $93.51 U.S. a barrel.
Gold futures for December delivery rose $4.20 to $1,620.20 U.S. an ounce.